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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Never Ending Stadiums

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 10/08/05 12:15

by Dave Mindeman

I'm a huge sports fan. I love the Twins, Vikings, and Gophers. I would love to see outdoor baseball again and have always thought it was a mistake to have Gopher football move off campus. But this endless debate about stadiums has got to get some "real world" perspective.

Legislative time should not be focusing on stadiums when we have so many needs being ignored. I don't mind stadiums being built and if they can come up with creative financing that doesn't pick the taxpayer pocket..... hey, I'm fine with that.

But a special session? It is hard to imagine that this topic can really be a "crisis". We may lose some contributing dollars from some artificial deadlines set by donors or corporations but why should that dictate the functions of state government?

We have lost far more valuable money because of legislative inaction than this... take federal transportation allotments for one example.

I want to keep our pro sports teams. They are a source of state pride and regardless of what detractors say, they are an economic revenue source. But after watching cut after cut on programs that people depend on, somehow the stadium watch seems pretty darn meaningless.
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Be Careful When Describing Your Enemy

Posted: 10/06/05 19:19, Edited: 05/26/13 11:25

by Dave Mindeman

Below you will find the final two paragraphs of Bush's speech given on Thursday at the National Endowment for Democracy in Washington. I would like you to read those two paragraphs but I want you to read them with a different slant. Bush is talking about the enemy as the Islamic extremists... but imagine if you will, some other philosophical leader talking about the Neo-Cons and the Bush administration instead:

With the rise of a deadly enemy and the unfolding of a global ideological struggle, our time in history will be remembered for new challenges and unprecedented dangers. And yet the fight we have joined is also the current expression of an ancient struggle, between those who put their faith in dictators, and those who put their faith in the people. Throughout history, tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that murder is justified to serve their grand vision ? and they end up alienating decent people across the globe. Tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that regimented societies are strong and pure ? until those societies collapse in corruption and decay. Tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that free men and women are weak and decadent ? until the day that free men and women defeat them.

We don't know the course of our own struggle ? the course our own struggle will take ? or the sacrifices that might lie ahead. We do know, however, that the defense of freedom is worth our sacrifice. We do know the love of freedom is the mightiest force of history. And we do know the cause of freedom will once again prevail.

Whom would you apply this to????
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LMV - Homeowner Protection?

Category: Minnesota Politics
Posted: 10/06/05 15:49

by Paul Bartlett, Accredited Minnesota Assessor (retired)

I recently received a political flier in the mail from Tim Wilkin, Republican House Representative from 38A (Eagan-Burnsville). The
flier is a litany of Wilkin?s ?accomplishments? and contained a statement that leaped off the glossy page: ?Homeowners will be protected from higher property taxes due to an extension of the Limited Market Value program for two more years.?

Politicians toot their own horn, and I?m just fine with that.
However, Wilkin?s statement is highly incomplete and misleading; the voters will determine if it is disingenuous. Without diving into the internal mechanics of an extremely complex and arcane law, I must respond to the suggestion that Limited Market Value aids all homeowners. Two points:

First, not all homeowners benefit from the LMV subsidy. In fact, a recent DOR study concluded that approximately two thirds of Minnesota homeowners have seen higher property taxes due to the LMV engineered tax shift. Only the owners of existing homes located in ?high? home inflation neighborhoods received the subsidy. All owners of new homes and homes located in low inflation areas have been royally gouged by LMV. Because LMV does not constrain levies, it has ratcheted up tax rates by suppressing the tax base. LMV has craftily shifted property taxes and resulted in what certainly is one of the nation?s most inequitable property assessment and tax systems.

Second, Minnesota?s founders were apparently more concerned with
property tax fairness than the current crop of state legislators. The
philosophical underpinning of nearly all assessment laws is known as ?uniformity? or ?equity?. These terms mean that homes of equal true market value in the same tax district should (heck, must) have equal tax burdens. Under LMV, an older home and new home of identical true market value can carry significantly different tax burdens.

Our founders embraced a commitment to fairness. Article 10 of the
Minnesota Constitution includes: ?Taxes shall be uniform upon the
same class of subjects.? For the privileged few, LMV has replaced full value assessments with limited values. These folks receive the tax subsidy; non recipients pay a visit to the cleaners. LMV is an
affront to the Minnesota Constitution and the notion of tax fairness. LMV has managed to skirt Article 10 by applying uniform tax rates to non uniform assessments. It?s an abomination!

Watch your legislator. Any legislator who claims credit for this
ponzi scheme is jerking on his/her constituents? collective chain.
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